# How to Size a Water Softener: A Complete Guide with Advantages and Disadvantages

Greetings, fellow homeowners! Water softeners are an essential appliance in any household that has hard water, but how do you know what size water softener you need?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we will walk you through how to size a water softener, the advantages and disadvantages of different sizes, and answer frequently asked questions to ensure you make the right decision for your home.

## Introduction to Sizing a Water Softener

Water hardness is measured in grains per gallon (GPG), and the higher the GPG, the harder the water. The size of your water softener is determined by how many GPG you need to remove. The average household needs a water softener that can remove 40-60 GPG.

Before purchasing a water softener, it’s essential to get a water test to determine your water hardness level. Most water softeners have a capacity that ranges from 24,000 to 80,000 grains, so it’s essential to choose the right size for your home’s needs.

Factors that can affect the size of the water softener you need:

Factor Description
Number of people in the household The more people in the home, the larger the water softener required
Water hardness level The higher the GPG, the larger the water softener needed
Water usage The more water used, the larger the water softener required
Frequency of regeneration The more frequent the regeneration cycle, the larger the water softener required
Resin tank size The larger the resin tank, the larger the water softener required

Now that you understand the factors that affect the size of the water softener, let’s dive into how to size a water softener.

## How to Size a Water Softener

### Step 1: Calculate Daily Water Usage

Start by determining your household’s daily water usage. You can do this by adding up the total number of gallons of water used each day, which can be found on your water bill or by using a water meter.

### Step 2: Determine Water Hardness Level

Next, determine your water hardness level by getting a water test kit or sending a sample to a lab for testing. The water hardness level is measured in grains per gallon (GPG).

### Step 3: Calculate Grain Capacity Required

Multiply your daily water usage by your water hardness level to determine how many grains of hardness you need to remove each day. For example, if your daily water usage is 200 gallons and your water hardness level is 10 GPG, you need to remove 2000 grains of hardness each day.

### Step 4: Choose Water Softener Capacity

Choose a water softener with a capacity that matches or exceeds the number of grains of hardness you need to remove each day. For example, if you need to remove 2000 grains of hardness each day, choose a water softener with a capacity of at least 24,000 grains to ensure it can handle your daily needs.

### Step 5: Consider Future Needs

Consider any future needs when choosing the size of your water softener. If you plan on expanding your household or increasing water usage, choose a larger capacity water softener to accommodate these changes.

### Step 6: Consult a Professional

If you’re unsure how to size a water softener or have unique circumstances, consult a professional to ensure you choose the right size for your home’s needs.

### 24,000 Grain Capacity

• Ideal for small households with low to moderate water usage
• Less space required for installation
• Lowers monthly water bills

• Not suitable for larger households or high water usage
• Regeneration cycles may occur more frequently, leading to higher salt usage and water bills

### 32,000 Grain Capacity

• Ideal for medium-sized households with moderate water usage
• Reduces water bills
• Increase lifespan of appliances

• Might not keep up with high water usage from time to time
• Regeneration cycles may occur more frequently, leading to higher salt usage and water bills

### 48,000 Grain Capacity

• Ideal for large households with moderate to high water usage
• Reduces water bills
• Protects home appliances and fixtures from hard water damage

• Slightly higher upfront and maintenance costs
• Regeneration cycles may occur more frequently, leading to higher salt usage and water bills

### 80,000 Grain Capacity

• Ideal for very large households with high water usage
• Reduces water bills
• Protects home appliances and fixtures from hard water damage

• Higher upfront and maintenance costs
• Regeneration cycles may occur more frequently, leading to higher salt usage and water bills

## FAQs about Sizing a Water Softener

### 1. What if I don’t know my water hardness level?

You can purchase a water test kit or send a water sample to a lab for testing.

### 2. Does the capacity of the water softener affect water pressure?

No, a larger capacity water softener will not affect water pressure. However, a clogged resin tank can affect water pressure, so it’s essential to clean and maintain your water softener regularly.

### 3. Is a water softener necessary?

It depends on your water hardness level and personal preference. However, a water softener can prolong the lifespan of appliances, improve water taste, and reduce water bills.

### 4. Can I install a water softener myself?

Yes, but it’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and consult a professional if necessary.

### 5. What if my household’s water usage changes?

Consider a water softener with a larger capacity if your household’s water usage increases.

### 6. How often should a water softener regenerate?

It depends on the water softener model and usage. Consult the manufacturer’s instructions for specific regeneration cycle recommendations.

### 7. Can a water softener eliminate all contaminants?

No, a water softener only removes hardness minerals like calcium and magnesium. Consider a water filtration system to remove additional contaminants.

### 8. Can a water softener make water too soft?

Yes, water that is too soft can be corrosive and damage plumbing. Consult a professional to ensure your water softener is functioning correctly.

### 9. Do I need a special type of salt for my water softener?

Consult the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the recommended salt for your water softener.

### 10. Can a water softener damage my septic system?

No, a water softener will not harm a septic system. However, salt brine can affect the performance of the system and should be avoided.

### 11. Can a water softener produce drinking water?

No, a water softener is not designed to produce drinking water. Consider a water filtration system for drinking water.

### 12. How often should I clean my water softener?

Clean your water softener resin tank once a year to prevent buildup and ensure proper functioning.

### 13. Will a water softener add salt to my drinking water?

No, a water softener does not add salt to drinking water. However, if you have a reverse osmosis system, it might remove the salt, which is not harmful.

## Conclusion

Congratulations! You now know how to size a water softener and the advantages and disadvantages of different sizes. Remember to consider your household’s water usage and future needs when choosing a water softener to ensure it meets your needs.

Investing in a water softener can prolong the lifespan of appliances, improve water taste, and reduce water bills, making it a worthwhile long-term investment for any homeowner. Don’t hesitate to consult a professional if you’re unsure how to size a water softener or have unique circumstances.

## Closing Disclaimer

The information provided in this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional advice. Always consult a professional before making any significant home investments or changes, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for proper installation and maintenance.